Has anyone tried this?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by bracolcas, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. bracolcas

    bracolcas Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a hen (chicken) that is ready to sit on some eggs but we didn't have any fertilized eggs at the time. So I bought some fertilized duck eggs and put them under her. I just got them this afternoon and she has already started sitting on them. I bought 3 (fertilized) duck eggs and put 4 (unfertilized) chicken eggs in the box with her and when I went out about an hour ago she had moved the duck eggs away from the chicken eggs and was only sitting on the duck eggs. Has anyone else tried putting duck eggs under a chicken? Any tricks for having the process run smoothly? Will she think they are hers when/if they hatch.

    Thanks
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can put duck eggs under a chicken and she will raise them just fine. Never put chicken eggs under a duck! When a chicken mom tries to teach swimming she will lead them to water and wait at the edge. Chickens and ponds don't get along often. The reason you never put chicken eggs under a duck is because she will go in the water and the chicken chicks can drown.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Some hens have an internal clock that tells them to stop setting around 21 to 23 days - most do not and will successfully hatch duck eggs. I have hatched ducks, geese, guinea fowl under chicken hens and in most instances they are raised as if they were not 'adopted'. Some hens especially if they are experienced mothers might know the difference. I once had a hen whose first brood was all black chicks. Next setting I gave her some eggs that were not hers, and she rejected all the non black chicks. Such a happening is not the norm. It is hilarious to see a chicken become hysterical when HER ducklings go into a stream.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  4. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the unofficial "rule" is chicken eggs under ducks=ok. Duck eggs under chickens= Not necessarily ok. The reasoning as I understand it goes like this: Chicken eggs take 21 days, Duck eggs take 28 days *or longer*... So your chicken just might not be willing to sit that long. Or she might do just fine. I have read stories of chickens hatching ducks, so I'm sure it has worked before, but I bet it depends on your bird. If she hatches out ducklings, yes, I'm sure she would adopt them as her own, but ducklings are just so different from chickens in terms of water, I really don't know how to manage that. Sorry. HTH
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    In my experience there are two problems with hatching chicks under ducks. Chicken egg shells are not as strong as are duck eggs, and a duck with her webbed feet stepping on chicken eggs may crack and break them. An even greater problem is that a wet mother duck will chill any chicks that she may hatch. Ducklings seem to be far more durable.
     
  6. bracolcas

    bracolcas Out Of The Brooder

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    Is there any way to get the hen back into brooding? She has hatched chickens once before, never ducks.
     
  7. sherylreno

    sherylreno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Wyandotte hatched out several ducks and was a great mother. Your hen should be just fine. It didn't bother my hen when the ducklings went into water. She just waited on the side for them to come out.
     
  8. DuckyGurl

    DuckyGurl Overrun With Chickens

    I got started in ducks because of a chicken setting on duck eggs! My family has done it twice successfully. My Dad put a dozen duck eggs under a broody hen, hatched every one out. She was awesome, the ducklings followed her everywhere. And when we gave them a little dish to swim in, the chicken FREAKED out. She screamed at those little ducklings for being in the water! But, about a half hour later, the chicken had joined the ducklings in the water! She was all fluffed up, clearly upset about it, but she had to be by her babies. And then a few years later, we put 5-6 eggs under a chicken. She was a great setter. Only one hatched, however. I realized too late that others had tried to hatch, but failed and I didn't catch it in time. So, the point of this is, yes, it can be done successfully! :)
     
  9. jessa2723

    jessa2723 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have three magpie ducks that were hatched by a chicken hen. We took them from her right away so they would imprint on us
     
  10. bracolcas

    bracolcas Out Of The Brooder

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    Cool thanks for the reply s everyone! It will be interesting to see how it turns out
     

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